The lilacs are finally blooming up here in the Catskills, where I live. That intoxicating scent and the splash of lavender against the green definitely have affected my music selections. Yep, I’ve got spring fever! Lucky for me, Zap Mama has a new album out, the aptly named ReCreation. Zap Mama, aka Marie Daulne, who was born in Africa and raised in Belgium, says that she made this CD for "that moment when you are relaxing and enjoying yourself, the perfect moment to create a new person within yourself—to heal yourself and let go of all the negative aspects of your life."
"Hello To Mama" became my Mother’s Day theme song, and in fact, Marie invited her 15-year-old daughter, Kesia Daulne Quental, to sing on the album’s opening title track. Lovely vocals, infectious Brazilian percussion (the album was partially recorded in Rio), and some sultry duets with Bilal, G. Love and Vincent Cassel make ReCreation the perfect tonic for my spring fever.
Love is in the air for longtime activist folksinger Michelle Shocked, too. Her new release, Soul of My Soul, kicks off with a pop-rock blast (a first for her): "Love’s Song" is a catchy chanson d’amour, punctuated with electric guitars, and Shocked has never sounded happier. Of course, she saved several tracks ("Pompeii," "Other People") to rail against our former president—out with the old and in with the new. (And Zap Mama dedicated her new CD to Barack Obama.) Shocked is about to embark on a series of collaborations with her beau, fine artist David Willardson, which will celebrate in song and on canvas such icons as Amelia Earhart, Georgia O’Keefe, Ella Fitzgerald, and Audrey Hepburn. I’m looking forward to that—and more new music coming our way this summer. I’ll be sure to fill you in on my finds.